tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 16, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EST
former vice president cheney. cheney continues to insist that treating a terrorist like a criminal means the obama administration doesn't know we're at war. while pieden says the former veep is trying to rewrite history, we'll get to the videotape on that fight and judge who won and who lost. by the way, that sunday morning showdown was no accident. this white house wants a big fight with the scowling cheney. could changey be dangerous? where's the gratitude? joe the plumber says he's had it with both palin, both john mccain and sarah palin. somebody ought to remind this guy that before they came along and made him famous he was joe the nobody. let's start with senator evan ba bayh's announcement today he'll not sick re-election. chuck todd is chief white house correspondent but i start first with the guy who broke the story, chris cillizza, beating even nbc i think. your thoughts. >> so rarely.
>> chuck whoules wins, the babe ruth of all noteworks. >> chuck is the winner in life. >> i'll have to give this for you. >> enough for the accolades, gave the big one. he deserves it. why did this young good looking unbeatable. >> yeah. >> senator from indiana decide to quit? >> well, it's never one thing, chris. i think it's a combination of things. one, i think he had worn out of the senate. he have risen very quickly. the secretary of state at 30 and the governor of indiana at 32. he was in the senate by his early 40s, but he kind of hit a ceiling. he had been twice considered for the vice presidency but john kerry and then again by barack obama in 2004 and 2008, didn't get it. knew he was unlikely given his centrist politics to win a primary and not get picked for a vp either and saw his road ending in the senate and for a guy born into this. remember, his father was a senate -- >> let's talk turkey here and if to chuck todd on the big picture. just a year or so ago arlen
specter of my state quit the republican party saying there's no room in it for centrist politicians like himself. >> right. >> is this a sign there's no room in the democratic party for centrist politicians like evan bayh? seemed to be saying that today? >> i think whattan if bye is saying there's no room in the senate for centrist politicians, period. the fact is he said he doesn't love congress. it was an amazing blunt attack on congress. you know, frankly there's 70% of americans agree with him on that statement. nobody loves congress right now. very few seemed to like what is going on there, and he -- to put it that way, tells you that, look, he had never really had to work hard before for an election. he was going to have to work a little bit harder, travel the state, and guess what, if he didn't want to be here another six years, this was his last chance to quit because the filing deadline is literally hours and days away. >> that's so smart. never heard anybody before say not that i don't like the congress, a lot of people don't say it. i don't like being in the
congress. let's take a look at what the senator said today. here he is expressing his displeasure with the world's greatest deliberative body which he doesn't think is so great or deliberative anymore. listen. >> after all of these years, my passion for service to our fellow citizens is undiminished but my desire to do so by serving in congress has waned. for some time i've had a growing conviction that congress is not operating as it should. there is much too much partisanship and not enough progress, too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem-solving. even at a time of enormous national challenge, the people's business is not getting done. all of this and much more has led me to believe that there are better ways to serve my fellow citizens. my beloved state and our nation than continued service in congress. to put it in words i think most people can understand, i love working for the people of indiana. i love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but i do not love congress.
>> that is tough. >> remarkable. >> i think chuck hit it on the head. >> stunning. >> you very rarely hear a politician. he said i do not love congress. this is somebody who spent -- a decade, more than a decade in congress. >> his childhood though. >> he was raised in the u.s. senate. >> he has been raised. the other thing i think worth noting is this comes about a week before the president is going to convene a bipartisan health care summit. the president was elected on the promise that he could bring washington together. he could make washington work. evan bayh essentially said today, i don't think so. he didn't say it about the president. >> by the way -- >> it's a very strong signal. >> chuck, i hear from a source out there, a friend of mine who told me about the off the record, not off the record on background, he thought the one final straw was the failure of this deficit commission to be-to-get accepted by congress, that being from indiana, and i know from years of working on the hill, the hoosier dog has always been all the way
connected to the idea of deficit reduction, of balanced budgets. even the democrats for years out there, people like lee hamilton, a much-respected measure, would vote for the balanced budget amendment, even though the liberals didn't like it. he felt the failure of that commission to get enacted was a real killer for him. >> to sort of connect everything to three degrees separation here. john mccain right now just started on a campaign tour of arizona. j.d. hayworth, former republican congressman, challenging him from the right. earlier today i interviewed the head of american tax reform and he said had john mccain support that had bipartisan commission he would not have gotten the support of grover norquist and the tax-cutting crowd. guess what, mccain voted against it after being a co-sponsor because that was his ticket to political survival probably in a republican primary. couldn't afford to alienate. >> explain to why regular people why wouldn't a fiscal
conservative want deficit reduction? >> it means if you support that commission you're supporting a tax hike because potential tax hikes and spending cuts would be on the table. norquist argues that every time this -- that both things have been on the table, well, it's never been spending cuts. it's always been tax hikes, and, therefore, he made it clear to these republicans that were thinking about supporting this, if you support it, you're supporting a tax hike and seven of them flipped, and that is what seemed to put not just five over the edge, george voinovich. >> and that is what's going on. we elect the senators, but people like grover norquist and unions and other people have more clout -- >> that's right. >> that is a great demonstration. senators are not leaders. they are not edmond burkes. they don't vote their conscience. they are forced to vote because of the activists on the left and right. >> look at health care. health care is a perfect example.
this is something that looked like it could go and all of a sudden we're at an absolute deadlock, not simply because republicans won't do it but people like blanche lincoln and michael bennett are nervous. >> people in college that couldn't get elected carter representative are telling senators how to vote. i'm serious. grover norquist has more power. it's scary to hear that he can tell mccain, a war hero, what to do. republicans, let's take a look at what can happen. here are pickup opportunities that -- that the democrats now face losing basically. they lose -- they could lose nevada easily. everybody looks like they are ahead in the polls out there but harry reid, colorado, michael bennett, appointee, looks like he could lose easily and north dakota is gone. byron dorgan has quit and blanche lincoln with a tough road to hoe, indiana, don't know who the democratic nominee, illinois. the guy's name i can't pronounce. >> alex is -- alexei jenoulious
and it is really easy to see eight pickups. >> that's eight and you never know. i think -- >> you could lose -- >> you have a few hanging out there and it depends a lot on the environment and whether republicans can get somebody who is a legitimate alternative. california. >> you mentioned boxer -- >> and patty murray in washington state, if they get two of those on the borders, one, maybe. >> chuck, you love this. some of this is dead serious. it's about running the country and some of this is gamesmanship. the worst fear the democrats have is that they get 49 regular democrats and the independent-minded joe lieberman as number 50. >> that's the difference. >> and he gets this -- gets to decide which committee i'll chair, think i'll do foreign relations, do finance. he'll be able to pick his chairmanship and be the stud duck, to use an old phrase. >> republicans have their own --
they still have to defend some open seats. florida is a mess with that primary. they probably don't have the best candidates that they could be finding frankly in indiana or missouri at this point, possibly not even ohio, but you know what? in a tidal wave year that right now it would look like, they are behind in all eight of those states. all eight of them, they are behind right now, and what evan bayh could lead to, what -- what if a patty murray or russ feingold says, boy, i don't know if i have it anymore. that would be a -- a very -- that's what they can't afford this evan bayh announcement to do which is to lead to a psychological blow, more retirement or better republican recruiting. >> sometime guys you lose the bug. you have the bug and you lose it. great being -- >> we still have it. >> we have the bug. >> proving it again a place for politics. >> 20 senate seats. >> congratulations to chris cillizza for beating cnn and all the other claimants to the throne and you really did break this story. >> coming up, sunday punches,
lots of them. the fight between vice president skriden and the guy he replaced dick cheney went on yesterday. we'll look at that fight because it's still going on. these two guys like to fight. cheney stepped up the attacks saying the obama administration doesn't take the terrorism threat seriously and why the white house loves this fight, love bringing the troll out from under the bridge. love this fight. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. ♪ fiddle music charlie:hat's how you do it son. vo: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. knock heartburn... into a whole new zip code. 24/7. satisfaction guaranteed.
thataboy. [ male announcer ] prilosec otc. heartburn gone. power on. [ children shouting ] come on, kiddo, let's go. [ laughs ] hold on a second... hop up, i want you to come up here closer to me. [ children shouting ] [ birds chirping ] wow. did i ever tell you what it was like growing up with four sisters? that sounds fun. yeah...fun for them! [ male announcer ] chevy traverse. a consumers digest best buy, with 100,000-mile, powertrain warranty. it seats eight comfortably -- not that it always has to. oh, just come snuggle with momma! missing something? now at sears optical, get 2 pairs of glasses for $99.99. with bifocals just $25 more per pair. sears optical. don't miss a thing. and ndic] bifocals just $25 more per pair. ♪ fa-diddle-diddle-do-do-do ♪ fa-daddle-daddle-la-da-da ♪ fa-diddle-diddle-leh-dee-dee
♪ fa-daddle-daddle-leh-do-do ♪ fa-daddle-daddle-leh-deh-dee ♪ i need to get out of here ♪ ah-deedle-deedle-leh-deh-do travelocity is your cure for cabin fever. if you find a lower hotel or vacation package price online, we'll match it, right up until the day before check-in. and we'll also guarantee that your booking will be right. travelocity. you'll never roam alone. in a minute we'll be talking about former vice president dick cheney's attack on the obama administration and dan quayle's son ben is running for congress for the retiring side of john shad yuk, ben quayle one of five republicans seeking that seat. more of "hardball" after this. start taking fewer pills. just 2 aleve have the strength... to relieve arthris pain all day.
sea salts vary in color and taste. one tops them all. adding it helps us use less salt than before in campbell's tomato soup while keeping the famous flavor. ♪ so many, many reasons ♪ it's so m'm! m'm! good! ♪ well, i'm kinda sick. are you gonna go in there coughing or you gonna go in there a man? it's what you want. it's what they all want. to feel empowered. (announcer) halls. a pep talk in every drop. how about going out for dinner? how about helping with math, first. how about calling for takeout? how about calling sylvan? if schoolwork is stressful, call sylvan.
welcome back to "hardball." sunday's main event on television was cheney versus biden. former vice president dick cheney was out there airing his grievances with the obama administration, and his successor joe biden was ready to fight back. so how many burrs does cheney have in his saddle? ron kristi is a republican central artery skrist who worked for vice president cheney and the bush administration and robert schum is out in l.a. where the weather is fine, a democratic administration figure, long identified with many democrat administrations
but mainly ted kennedy. dick cheney on the mindset of the obama administration and then vice president pieden reacting on cbs's "face the nation." . watch. >> it's the mindset that concerns me, john. it's very important to go back and keep in mind the distinction between handling these events as criminal acts which was the way we did before 9/11 and then looking at 9/11 and saying this is not a criminal act. not when you destroy 16 acres of manhattan, kill 3,000 americans, blow a big hole in the pentagon, that's an act of war. >> it is an act of war what took place. the fact of the matter is the bulk of the people who were tried by any court in this country under the last administration were tried in a federal criminal court, and they are still in jail. >> so, ron, just to put it in regular non-scowling english, what is cheney's rap here?
why does he keep saying over and over again, the mindset issue? >> the mindset issue is this. prior to 9/11 you look at way the clinton administration tried to bring people to justice from the first world trade center bombing. after 9/11 we realized al qaeda has been at war with the united states not just before 9/11, you could go all the way back to 1979. you could go forward to the khobar towers. the united states needed to wake up and recognize that islamic terrorists sought to kill american terrorists. 9/11 was the big wake-up call and now you seem to have a pre- 9/11 mindset where this administration, where president obama says, well, this was an isolated incident. it's not an isolated incident. >> who says it was an isolated incident? >> the president did shortly there after the attempted christmas day bombing which thankfully was thwarted. >> you argument is that the obama straight doesn't know we're at war? >> i agree with the vice president that it seems to me that this administration has shifted to a pre- 9/11 mindset where we'll try people in civilian courts, give them constitutional rights, read them
miranda rights rather than treat them like enemy combatants. >> they are not criminals, but enemy combatants? >> the argument is if we're treating them like criminals we're not acknowledging there's a war. >> the breathtaking quality of what chainy is saying and what ron is saying is illustrated by this whole notion that somehow or other there's a different mindset here. vice president biden said quite correctly that the bulk of the terrorists that were tried in the bush administration and tried successfully were tried in civilian courts. when the interviewer read cheney a memo from the bush justice department which the president accepted saying we ought to rely where we can on the federal courts, when he pointed out that in fact they had tried the shoe bomber richard reid in a federal court and is now in a super max for the rest of his life, cheney threw the bush justice department and president bush under the bus. i guess they had the wrong mindset. what you can't do is criticize
the president of the united states for being soft on terrorism when he's in espens following the same policies in this area that the last administration not only followed but mandated in a memo that they left behind. >> abc cheney was confronted with it the bush justice department document touting the numerous and successful criminal prosecutions of terror suspects from 2001 through 2005, and here's the former vice president's reaction. let's listen. >> and i can remember a meeting in the roosevelt room in the west wing of the white house where we had a major shootout over how this was going to be handled between the justice department that advocated that approach and many of the rest of us who wanted to treat it as an intelligence matter, as an act of war, military commissions. we never for think or totally resolved these issues. >> ron? >> well, i'm glad you brought up that clip because 2001 and 2005 the united states did not have the full infrastructure in place. president bush after a couple of supreme court cases that we took a look at, went back to the
congress and passed the military commission act of 2006 which allowed enemy combatants to be tried in a military tribunal, specifically designated those who were aligned and affiliated with al qaeda so for bob to say the bush administration tried richard reid that way. have you to look at history. richard reid was apprehended right after 9/11. the bush administration acted swiftly and responsibly in a bipartisan manner with the congress to say we need to recognize we're at war. we need to make sure we have the right tools to prosecute this war and to fight this war and that's exactly what they did. >> that's just a lie. >> somehow that a lie? >> 2001 to 2006 is swift. whose definition of swift is that? the bush administration didn't do that because they wanted to. they did it because in 2006 they had set up these military commissions and the supreme court threw them out as unconstitutional. they used civilian trials. those civilian trials worked. the obama administration is now redesigning those military commissions so that if they have
to be they can be used, but why do we insist on making this argument where some very hard line people in the bush administration advocated using civilian courts. why do we insist on saying, gee, if someone agrees with them on that, they must be soft on terrorism. dick cheney lost that shootout in the roosevelt room. the president agreed with the justice department. president bush. are we saying he was soft on terrorism? >> well, bob, all i have to say to you is a lie is a pretty heavy term and the facts bear themselves out. >> but it was a lie. go back and tell me. >> excuse me. let's not have a filibuster here. between 2001 -- >> is five years swift? >> between 2001 and 2005 the united states did not have the proper infrastructure in place. after 2006 we did. >> gentlemen, we've got to go. >> my final wordsy think -- i think terrorism is a crime as well as an act of war, it's both and people commit terrorism
against regular people and flying commercial airlines are criminals and as well as -- i think they are criminals to engage in terrorism against individual people and chainy is wrong on that. thank you both. up next, why is joe the plumber fed up with both john mccain and sarah palin? check out the sideshow that's coming up next? you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. there he is. the joe he used tonight nobody. i see you have the verizon network. yeah. you know, if you had at&t, you'd have the nation's fastest 3g network... then you'd be able to download songs faster... download videos faster... and you can talk and surf the web at the same time... [ clattering ] [ gasps ] you've got a little map in your soup. [ male announcer ] when you compare, there's no comparison. at&t. a better 3g experience. buy any smartphone after mail-in rebate and get any messaging phone free after mail-in rebate.
[ wind howling ] [ male announcer ] it balances you... [ water crashing ] [ male announcer ] ...it fills you with energy... and it gives you what you're looking for to live a more natural life, in a convenient two bar pack. this is nature valley... delicious granola bars made with 100% natural ingredients. nature valley. 100% natural, 100% delicious. working together is a thing of beauty.
( inhales deeply ) you have to be in sync every step of the way. like the incredible scent of gain detergent... and fabric softener. ( inhales deeply ) the key... is staying focused. ahhh! magnifico! carlos. the incredible matching scents... of gain detergents and fabric softeners. sniff sniff hooray!
voirks time for the sideshow. gentlemen, start your engines. sarah palin has been living in the fast lane since she quit her job as governor of alaska. when she headed to the daytona 500 this weekend the crowd went while. sarra was mobbed by screaming fans from fans saying we want sarah. this is awesome, an all-american event, a good patriotic wonderful event bringing a whole lot of people together. i think it's good for america. pit stops like this might be good for palin as well. remember, the daytona 500 takes place in what could be an early 2012 primary state, florida, and if she decides to run the presidential race it would put her on the inside track to the white house. meanwhile, back on the ranch, sarah palin's former running mate john mccain, the one who
lassioed her into the bigtime is faced with a tough re-election battle. j.d. hay worth announced he's challenging mccain for the senate seat. the talk show host announced his candidacy at a rally in phoenix. there's two john mccains. the one who campaigns like a conservative and the one who ledge slates like a liberal. in fact, when it comes time to debate, i'm going to ask for a third chair in case both john mccains show up. >> and it looks like joe the plumber's relationship with sarah palin and john mccain is down the pipes. at a recent political event joe told our reporter he doesn't support sarah palin anymore because she's backing john mccain for re-election out in arizona and mccain, as he put it, is no public servant. when a report brought up the fact that mccain made him famous he said i don't owe him bleep.
talk about a frankenstein's monster. mccain created this number. now it's time for the big numbers. evan bayh's decision not to seek re-election shocked democrats but even more shocking, a hopeful candidate has until tomorrow to get his or her petitions to get on the primary ballot to full bayh's job. if they don't, the state committee has to pick a nom northeast. that's the big number. senator baie's abrupt decision to retire gives potential candidates just 24 hours to get on a ballot, 24. tonight's big scary number, if you want to be the senator from indiana. up next, back to that fight between dick cheney and the white house. got to believe the obama team loves taking on the least popular member of the bush crowd. the politics of this fight coming up. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. i feel like i have to wind myself up just to get out of bed. then... well... i have to keep winding myself up to deal with the sadness, the loss of interest, the trouble concentrating, the lack of energy. if depression is taking so much out of you,
ask your doctor about pristiq. (announcer) pristiq is a prescription medicine proven to treat depression. pristiq is thought to work by affecting the levels of two chemicals in the brain, serotonin and norepinephrine. tell your doctor right away if your depression worsens or you have unusual changes in mood, behavior, or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, teens and young adults. pristiq is not approved for children under 18. do not take pristiq with maois. taking pristiq with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. tell your doctor about all your medications, including those for migraine, to avoid a potentially life-threatening condition. pristiq may cause or worsen high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or glaucoma. telling your doctor if you have heart disease... or before you reduce or stop taking pristiq. side effects may include nausea, dizziness and sweating. (woman) for me, pristiq is a key in helping to treat my depression. (announcer) ask your doctor about pristiq.
hey bets, can i borrow a quarter? sure, still not dry? i'm trying to shrink them. i lost weight and now some clothes are too big. how did you do it? simple stuff. eating right and i switched to whole grain. whole grain... [ female announcer ] people who eat more whole grain tend to have a healthier body weight. multigrain cheerios has five whole grains and 110 calories per serving. more grains. less you. make the switch. get $5 in coupons. my son's got all that and he's on his first date. well, when he feels the instacool sensation, he'll know that pepto's about to kick in. honey, do you feel... the instacool sensation -- yes, mom. thank you, mrs. wagner. [ male announcer ] new pepto-bismol chewables with instacool.
i have the great freedom and luxury of speaking out and saying what i want to say, what i believe, and i have not been discouraged from doing so. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was, of course, dick cheney on abc's "this week" on sunday. love it when he says i haven't been discouraged. who would discourage him. it is a fight that the obama administration wants to have? do they like fighting with dick cheney? the executive editor of politico
joins us and anne kornblut, editor of "washington post." >> i was surprised by your sourcing this morning. who was your source close to cheney who said that cheney won the debate with obama, i mean, with biden? i thought it was interesting you have a source close to cheney, unidentified, who said cheney won the debate. >> that wasn't my story but i assume it's somebody close to chainy. >> why are you sourcing cheney won when it's clearly his wife or daughter talking? >> still has his friends, people who talk to him about terrorism all the time. >> no evidence anybody is close to him. your thoughts about why is the white house fighting this fight, jim, as far as can you see? why do they want to get the troll out from under the bridge fighting with biden? what's this about? they seem to want this? >> well, i don't know if they necessarily want to be having a weekend debate about terrorism, but if they have to have it i think they like it to be against dick cheney because he's so polarizing and because he's so unpopular and attached to a lot of policies in the bush administration that were
unpopular, so when they have him as the leader of the republican party in this debate, they are happy to put biden out there, on two different sunday shows, and happy to go toe-to-toe and if you look at the coverage coming out of yesterday, they feel like they held their own and did pretty well in a head-to-head against cheney who was pretty good in that forum in advocating his position. one of the most forceful advocates of his position which is a minority position i think for a lot in the country, but it is one that resonates certainly with republicans. it resonated in that massachusetts race. >> you know, it's interesting. i think cheney can be useful weapon if you're on the right, just like rudy giuliani can be for a particular issue, terrorism. just keeping to that one. >> it's the only issue he's talked about since leaving office i think which is one reason why his book is going to be such a spectacular one when it comes out. a source close to the white house told me that they feel that they won this debate in part because, and jim is right,
the coverage was -- was pretty good for biden, and actually for both of them, but the white house feels, and they look at the polling and see that it's still one of obama's better issues, remarkably, terrorism in general. >> why do you think he still comes out ahead of his other issues on that? >> maybe because the other issues are doing so badly. >> the economy sucks. >> they do think they's consistent and people elected him because they wanted a return of law. they don't want to be doing this but if they have to. >> i love the fact, cheney, so interesting to watch the figure because he clearly doesn't care what people think about him, not in any popularity competition. only politician i've ever met who doesn't want to be popular which is interesting but he's more loyal to torture than he is to george w. bush, absolutely loyal to torture. he will say enhanced interrogation devices over and over again and he slithered away from bush and said i was in the meeting and they were unresolved and remember a shootout in the roosevelt room. everyone watching that administration thought he was the key player.
now he's acting like he was some sort of insurgent. what's that about, jim? >> i do think one of the things we've learned since bush left office is there was certainly a lot more disagreement between the two of them in the final two or three years of the bush administration than any of us knew at the time. >> yeah. >> it's clear that if you listen to him when he was asked if he was advocating in meet to go a military response to iran and smirkd and said usually, i assume that was a debate that they had all the time and one that he did not prevail in and the same thing talking about waterboarding, never wanted to backtrack on any of the interrogation or torture techniques and never wanted to relent on any of the terror policies that bush was already starting to unwind in some different areas and clear like a little bit of the fight yesterday with obama, but it was also with bush and people inside the white house, so he felt it didn't go far enough on these policies. >> if they remake the move works do you think he'd rather about, dr. strangelove or mr. potter in "it's a wonderful life?" let's take a look at a
compilation of joe biden's comments on cheney on our own "meet the press." let's listen to that. >> dick cheney's a fine fellow, but he is not entitled to rewrite history without it being challenged. i don't know where he has been. where was he the last four years, the last administration? i don't think the former vice president dick cheney listens. i'm not going to guess about his motive. all i know is he's factually, substantly wrong on the major criticisms he is asserting. why he's insisting on that, he either is misnord or he is misinforming, but the facts are that his assertions are not accurate. it's one thing to be outspoken. it's another thing to be outspoken in a way that misrepresents the facts. >> akonne kornblut, never saw h
so confident. >> this is the pushback they have advertised for a few weeks, getting to stylistically revel in the way he does in pushing back on cheney and in substance to take us back a couple years before the bush administration ended and to remind people of why they wanted to elect obama and also to on the merits talk about the ways in which the bush administration behaved on national security in some of the similar ways that the obama administration is. they were very pleased with that performance. >> i wonder whether chain, and i don't mean this negatively, a very smart guy and a public servant, but sometimes when you listen to him he's almost banking on bad news, isn't he, like it's going to get worse, something terrible will happen. i disagree with him about the word strategic though. 9/11 was horrible, horrible, to the victims. the word strategic has to be carefully used. he uses it almost in the terms the way israel uses extension, if israel were to be hit by a nuclear weapon it would be existential if tel aviv would be hit. if we were hit it would be
terrible, horrible. he seems to make it like almost this is everything. i don't know how to describe it. he wants the whole foreign policy of the united states, the whole domestic policies, our entire leadership to be depend ant on one question, terrorism. it should the only thing that decides what we do in this country for the rest our future. that's what he wants. >> i don't know that he would actually dispute that. i mean, we've interviewed him a couple of times over the last year and a half, and he has said repeatedly and said it sunday that he thinks the biggest issue bar none is -- is the threat of terrorists getting their hands on biological or nuclear weapons and that's what everybody should be focused on because the outcome of that would be horrific and worse than anything else that the country is grappling with right now so i think he does think that's where the focus should, and if you think back to the bush administration, that's where the bulk of that focus was, on the two wars and an anti-terror policies, what every speech was about, all the coverage was about. that's all they wanted to be engaged in. it wasn't until obama came in and he tried to move away from terrorism and work on the economy and health care. >> the problem with that
politically, and we could face a horrible armageddon, not armagedd armageddon, but terrible attack like 9/11 with weapons of mass destruction, but if you use that, that will be able to be used for any torture is justified, any foreign war where there might be an enemy is justified. he uses it as a justification for anything horrific on our side, because if that is the fear, then we can use an ultimate weapon in any direction an claim it's justified. >> i don't think he would argue with you. >> exactly. >> it is dr. strangelove talk, doomsday talk. it's like we can do anything we want, you know, enhanced -- he says with that kind of growl and snarl like he means waterboarding, he was going to waterboard that kid from nigeria. going to waterboard everybody. >> this is a fundamental disagreement between the bush administration to the extent that obama ran against it at et end of it obama saying no, not any ends justify the means and the bush administration having said right after 9/11 we're
going to do whatever we have to do to prevent another attack, a fundamental conflict that's not been resolved. >> a great bat. here he is in december, the "wall street journal," our poll asked people who they had the least regarded respect for, dick cheney placed second right up there with george w. bush is this going to stop guy? i don't think he's running for anything. maybe he wants his daughter to be a commentator. has some goals in the near term. i don't know what he wants but apparently he just likes to get out there and fight. >> well, i don't think it's going to deter him, and i think what -- what we had heard over the weekend, trying to figure out why does cheney attack and why does he do what he does and use such sharp rhetoric and what we heard is, one, he authentically disagrees with the policies and believes that other republicans, i assume that means george bush, aren't doing enough to defend the bush/cheney policies and aren't doing enough to make sure terrorism is front and center. he knows if he goes on tv or does an interview with us or somebody else and he uses sharp rhetoric that everybody is going to jump on that. the white house is going to respond to that and he'll get the debate over terrorism that
he wants. and like you said and all known for a long time dick cheney does not care what we think about him. >> why don't you give him a column over there at the politico and save a step. jim, thanks a lot. give him a column. he would be great. >> love to get a column, give people a chance to express their views. give you a column, chris. >> cheney would be better. anyway, thank you. that's a good offer. we'll talk. up next, back to our lead story, the stunning news today that senator evan bayh of indiana won't seek re-election. a huge pickup opportunity for the republicans now who have an advantage out there now. this is "hardball" on msnbc. there's a hospital where technology has a healing touch. there's a factory giving old industries new life. and there's a train that got a whole city moving again. somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, more than sixty thousand people spend every day answering them. siemens.
answers. a day on the days that you have arthritis pain, you could end up taking 4 times the number... of pills compared to aleve. choose aleve and you could start taking fewer pills. just 2 aleve have the strength... to relieve arthris pain all day. the sparkly flakes. the honey-baked bunches! the magic's in the mix. my favorite part? eating it. honey bunches of oats. taste the joy we put in every spoonful. love this story, turns out the texas republican running for governor in that state to the right of both rick bailey and kay bailey hutchison is not only using the language of state rights and is a truther and birther to boot. she told glenn beck very good questions have been raised by people who believe the united
states government was involved in 9/11. she later said she didn't think america was behind 9/11 but on thursday said this on texas tv. >> the 9/11 commission report, you know, great sections of that are redacted and they are top secret. that makes us all wonder, well, what's happening back there. the same is true with the birth certificate thing, and i think it's healthy that people are asking questions. >> wow. it's healthy that people are asking questions about whether a president is a foreigner or that our government helped murder 3,000 people on september 11th. a lot of texans think that sort of think, well, perry still leads, but medina is surging in the polls running about 20% neck in neck with senator kay bailey hutchison. must be a lot of nuts out there. back with "hardball" after this. it's monday,
some people will stick with their old way of getting vitamins and minerals. others will try incredible total raisin bran. with 100% of the daily value of 11 essential vitamins and minerals, juicy raisins and crunchy whole grain flakes. guess it's all about what kind of crunch you like. how are you getting 100%? guess it's all about what kind of crunch you like. [ sighs ] whoo-hoo! this hair color is a washout. try nice'n easy with color-blend technology. in 1 step, get a blend of 3 tones. highlights, lowlights, and shine. it makes a fresh, light-filled frame for your pretty face. nice'n easy. your right color. oh, just come snuggle with momma! missing something? now at sears optical, get 2 pairs of glasses for $99.99. with bifocals just $25 more per pair. sears optical. don't miss a thing.
and build the skills for success. guaranteed. to learn how sylvan can help, call... for a free dvd/ information kit. that's... call now. welcome back to "hardball." time for the politics section. great pros here tonight. for democrats who got a jolt today, what a jolt. senator evan bayh announced out of nowhere he's not running for re-election. there was a guaranteed seat pretty much for the democrat. now it's not at all guaranteed. what's the outlook for 2010 right now? pat buchanan is an msnbc
political analyst, of course, and charlie cooks is an nbc political analyst and editor of the cookson report, that's the best publication in town to tell you what's going on and now you've got it leaning republican, without bayh there. >> and frankly if's not leaning it's probably more likely. if this were in 2006 and 2008, an open senate seat in indiana and indiana had been moving away from the republican party a little bit, democrats would have a chance to hold on. in this political environment, particularly if it's a democratic member of congress, what's more difficult, to be hated or be a member of congress? a lousy year for one of those democratic house members to run. if i were them, i wouldn't do it. >> get to know some people in politics, get to know them socially, like chris dodd and evan bayh a little less but i like the guy. regular people you can identify who decide they don't want to be in the senate anymore and beau a good guy, not running and byron
dorgan, normal people that don't want to be in the senate anymore. what's that about? >> i agree. he's a nice guy. they are fed up with the partisanship and they have to be looking, especially the democrats, this was a golden opportunity, the 60 votes t.ain't going to get any better next time out. if you think it was gridlock now, you wait until then. i don't care whether we lose the senate, lose five seats it's going to be terrible. now is the time to go. >> pat, the point is because if you don't leave now, you've got from now until november putting up with all the negative ads, your family has to watch them, you're going to be smeared because that is how you beat an incumbent. >> and then you're stuck there after that for sikhs years. >> and the thing is prior to the 2006 election republicans had congress. they had the presidency and washington was dysfunctional and then two years democrats had congress and republicans had the presidency and it was dysfunctional. and now the democrats have everything it's dysfunctional. >> i think the country likes us locked together here. let's take a look at what's going on in the states right
now. the states where republicans could easily, according to cook and other people, pick up the seats. indiana we know that. evan bayh was the best guy to hold that seat. he's gone. north dakota, byron dorgan is leaving because the governor is coming in apparently. arkansas, blanche lincoln fighting hard. nevada, very tough for harry reid no matter who runs against him. arlen specter is 14 points down to pat toomey and colorado, mike bennett a tough road to hoe and mike cassel in delaware against whoever and in illinois you've got mark kirk running. >> right. >> strong republicans that have been recruited, charlie. >> absolutely and the question is can republicans squeeze out, you know can, they mount a strong challenge to russ feingold in wisconsin? can they get some -- a good candidate in against patty murray in washington state? >> and if they do they take the senate. >> then it becomes more than a mathematical possibility, but they have got to expand the playing field a little bit more. >> right now they have a decent shot at seven or eight seats. >> six, seven. >> take a look at the future
after that. the next two cycles 42 democratic senators up and about 21 republicans and so -- and that should be a pretty good year, frankly 2014, 2014 should be outstanding, so, chris, you've got a real possibility the republicans taking over the senate in this decade and holding it for the balance of the decade. >> i have a theory about this. i'm giving a speech tomorrow and i was thinking what i've got to think about, what you all is doing is meeting the country. we have a country when it goes back to true north, pretty much 50/50 country. you look at the elections we grew up with, '60, kennedy and nixon, '76 and ford, right on the nail and 2000, bush and gore, right on the name. we go apart, one party gets a little bit of a lead and one party blows it because of watergate or a recession and then it goes back to that true north about even. everybody got tired of bush and now they have forgotten bush and sort of forgotten cheney barks to true north, another 50/50.
the voters want gridlock, don't they? >> i think voters like divided government, but what started breaking down -- >> isn't that scary and then they bitch about it? >> when democrats stopped being willing to push for higher taxes and when republicans stopped trying to cut government spending, when each of them starting falling down at sort of where they are supposed to go, that creative tension fell apart and you just saw spending going up, revenues not going up and that's where the wheels came off the bus. >> that is so smart. republicans used to be good at cutting spending and democrats were good at raising taxes to pay for things and now neither is willing to do the hard lifting. >> it's hard. >> let me be very negative. >> as the voter they don't want to hear that. >> the tea party advocates and the birthers and truthers and the town hall folks, the gridlock, we got three straight 10% of gdp deficits coming. you've got a real danger that people will stop buying our bonds, that the united states is going to be a giant california or a giant greece and you've got
deadlock. you made the point. >> nobody wants to do anything about deficit reduction. >> exactly. what's happening in california is exactly what could happen in america. republicans won't raise taxes and the democrats won't cut spending because that cuts their employees who are government workers and their constituents who are government beneficiaries. you've got a real deadlock here. >> it's terrible. you are so smart. we'll come back and pick up. once a congressman from massachusetts who voted against every tax increase and for every spending increase and somebody said how can you do that and he said why shouldn't i? that's what's going on. back with more. arghhh... (announcer) dr. scholl's massaging gel insoles give you outrageous comfort, all-day-guaranteed. woah. it's not too far... (announcer) are you gellin'? dr. scholl's. i switched to a complete multivitamin with more. only one a day men's 50+ advantage... has gingko for memory and concentration. plus support for heart health. ( crowd roars ) that's a great call.
former u.s. congressman who has been on the radio for a long time who will challenge john mccain for mccain's senate seat back out in arizona. this guy is running a very tough campaign. he is sticking it to mccain, so the reference for the old fellow is not there. >> well, the old fellow went and got him knocked off his radio program. what would you do? >> is that what he did? >> sure he did. ran ads on his radio program attacking him. >> you mean, this is personal. >> personal with j.d., but j.d. is a good guy, count him as a friend of mine. i think he'll run a great campaign. >> if i were out there -- mark rubio against charlie crist. >> are you with ses tack? >> i haven't said yet. >> you get me to say. why don't you tell. >> j.d. is a hoot, and i don't know whether j.d. is going to beat john mccain or not. >> still like to moderate one of those debates. >> he is going -- j.d. is going to have a blast with john mccain. i mean, he is going to pop that balloon, and just have a lot of
fun with it. he's a very -- >> are people willing to vote -- >> to charlie's point. >> dump him. >> they might be. i think he's better off now than he was running immigration, but to charlie's point. j.d. may set him off. mccain is a very explosive guy. you keep prodding him with that stuff, he's a liberal, he's a liberal, you could set him off. >> john mccain has to talk himself out of anger i think a lot. reason for what he went through in the pow camps and the hell he went through and putting up with all the students in the country blasting the war all the time and i think he has a lot of reason for anger and fights t.part of j.d. hayworth's speech announcing he's challenge john mccain in the arizona primary. listen. this is tough stuff. >> just like the liberals, john opposes waterboarding for captured terrorists like the christmas bomber. just like the liberals john wants to close the prison at gitmo. just like the liberals john
talks about global warming in apocalyptic terms sounding for all the world like al gore, and just like the liberals john wrote the campaign finance law just struck down by the supreme court. >> oh, god, i wouldn't would be to be in that crowd. they are going after mcjane. >> j.d. made a mistake. don't hit mccain on torture or waterboarding. stay with global warming. i had some experience with j.d. in a debate. >> he was tortured himself. >> and where was j.d.? >> report speech in new hampshire. >> j.d. served in the country. didn't serve through the hell that guy went through. >> john mccain pointed out that senator hillary clinton put in an amendment for a million dollars for a woodstock memorial or museum or something. he said -- he said i was tied up at the time. i mean, j.d. needs to watch out.
>> j.d. should pass over that stuff. >> that's a no-fly size. >> stay with cap and trade, am nesty. >> not a good sales pitch out west. >> talking to john mccain. >> otherwise would you be selling torture in arizona? >> i don't think waterboarding is as exciting to the tea party -- >> that crowd seemed to like it. >> they didn't like that very much. go with the tea party issues on spending. >> love these pictures, never can tell how many people are there, one, two, three, four heads, but never how many people are on the other side. >> bring the walls in. >> jerry bruno technique is this going to be one of the races we'll be watching late night november, where we're all sitting around trying to figure out who will win this thing? >> this is a primary, not the general. high entertainment value. whether it ends up being -- >> you know who is not going to be entertained, john mccain. join us again tomorrow night at 5:00 eastern for more "hardball" tomorrow night. by the way, koberman starts right now.
which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? defensive dick. >> i was a big supporter of waterboarding. i was a big supporter of the enhanced interrogation techniques. >> and you oppose the administration's actions of doing away with the waterboarding? >> yes. >> desperately attacking two presidents? the ex-vice president scrambling because the obama administration has arrested an al qaeda operative headed for yemen. carrying 300 phone numbers, pictures, names and documents, an al qaeda rolodex. had a do you want, an engraved invitation? since this meeting will be most productive if information is widely available before the meeting we will post online the text of a proposed health reform insurance package. that is on the white house's actual invitation to republicans to show up for the health care reform summit a week from thursday. why ezra klein believes it signals a compromise between the